[vagueware] Building on Templates

  • From: Paul Robinson <paul@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: vagueware@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 24 Aug 2004 13:37:14 +0100

Right, following on from the mind-mapping/templates idea, here's some 
material to flesh out.

The process of VagueWare should broadly follow something like this:

1. They come up with a name for the idea

2. They then have a choice. They can either choose a template to be 
completed that fits, or brainstorm.

3. Regardless, they move components around either inside a wiki, or via a 
mind-mapping tool using the DHTML trickery I found last week

4. They flesh out, and they can add to the template, take away from it, 
create their own, etc.

5. The wiki that sits underneath it, is just an abstraction along with the 
associated paraphenalia. For example, lets' suppose I produce a mind-map 

Copyright - Legal --- VagueWare
 License -/            /        \
                  Infrastruct.  Bills -- Dev. time 
                   /       \       \
          DB --Servers  Network -- Bandwidth costs
                /         /    
               Web      Servitor

Which would obviously look prettier in a real map, might be one abstraction 
of a wiki which would automatically reflect this as I build it. So when I go 
into "edit mode" I get a wiki that looks something like:

== VagueWare ==

=== Legal ===

==== Copyright =====

==== Legal ====

=== Infrastruct. ===

==== Servers ====

* DB
* Web

==== Network ====

* Servitor
* Bandwidth costs (see [#Bills])

=== Bills ===

==== Dev. Time ====

==== Bandwidth Costs ====
(see [#Network])

Which I can then edit as a normal wiki, as can anybody else. When I enter 
something into a section, or add a new header, it automatically reflects 
that in the other abstractions, including the map. When I go back to the 
map, new headings are automatically there in the right place, and you can 
click on headings and see the text in that section.

The purpose is not to push mind-maps per se, but rather to encourage a 
multiple abstraction view of the same document. It means other abstractions 
could be put into place at a later stage, providing we are clear about some 
underlying structure.

6. Once the "owner" of a notion is happy his document is "finished", he can 
then put it up for moderation into a publishing queue.

7. Once published, the site treats it like an article just like any other - 
people can have a threaded discussion about it, but again I want to abstract 
away from this notion of keeping everything seperate. People should be able 
to participate via web, e-mail or usenet if they wish to.

Going back to the templates, we need a new way of quickly building a 
template for a variety of uses. Being able to create one that is private to 
all your own ideas is a good idea, as is a public collection of them.

The underlying tech for this, although looking difficult, is actually quite 
simple, and I intend to make a start soon. The problem is, I realise that 
there is commercial benefit in some of these ideas, and I need to clarify if 
I wish to protect that in any way. Probably not, but once it's gone, it's 

This is just a quick sketch out of what is in my head. It needs enhancing 
and criticising a great deal. Please feel free.

Paul Robinson

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  • » [vagueware] Building on Templates